Assessing the Operating Temperature and Relative Humidity Environment of IC Sockets in Enterprise Servers

Michael Pecht, Fellow, IEEE
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742, USA

Leoncio D. Lopez
RAS Computer Analysis Laboratory
Sun Microsystems, Inc
San Diego, CA 92121 USA

Typical reliability evaluations of integrated circuit (IC) sockets are performed with stress loads and load levels that are defined by industry standards, without consideration to component properties, reliability requirements, or target operating environments. The problem with this approach is evident when evaluations are completed. If the standard requirements are met, then the test results provide no assurance of adequate product life for the customer. If the standard requirements are not met, then the test results provide no clear indication as to which failures are relevant and which are not. An alternative approach for the estimation of product reliability is found in health monitoring and electronic prognostics, where the reliability of an IC socket can be estimated from operating condition monitors, and physics of failure analysis and modeling. The results obtained in this manner can provide greater assurance that reliability requirements will be met and that the incipience of failures will be detected, with corresponding root causes identified. In this paper the operating environment of an IC socket inside an enterprise server was experimentally assessed by means of a sensor network, providing vast information for the definition of reliability models and future implementations of health monitoring and electronic prognostic methods.

Index Terms: Health monitoring, IC socket, operating environment.

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